Thursday, December 22, 2016


Hey everyone. Happy Holidays!

Today after a brief break to celebrate BEATRYSEL with the BEATRYSEL HOLIDAY EVENT,  I'm back to talking YA. If you didn't see the BEATRYSEL post, well, you should go. There's still a give-away I think and some cool videos.

Today, to round out the year, I'm completing the MFA YA Q&A.

If you remember I was approached by a friend of mine who is getting her MFA and working on a project about Young Adult Literature. She gave me a five questions and I thoughtfully answered them. Liking them so much, and needing blog material, I've presented them here. Here are the previous questions.

1. What does the term "young adult literature" mean to you as an author?

2. What do you believe makes a novel young adult?

3. What made you want to write a young adult novel (or market Eleanor, Celeste, and David as such)?

4. Do you believe young adult novels have literary value? How so or why not?

Today Question 5: What do you believe the future of young adult literature entails?

One thing about literary books is that they often have reference to the history. To truly understand what a “literary” author is saying often requires a certain degree of literacy. From Sophocles to Salinger, there is a western literary tradition that needs to be understood. Young adult books tend to be more immediate, without the history or baggage of books traditionally considered to be literary, and that’s okay. They’re creating their own history. It’s a bit like fast food; it may not have all the nutrition you want, but it’ll keep you going. It might be the best shake you ever had, but there’s still something missing. The goal is to get readers interested with the flashy YA and lure them to keep reading and grow into intelligent, literate readers from any foundation.

With any luck young adult readers today will stay readers tomorrow. Young adult books are necessarily restrictive. Among other things, there’s a certain “limited attention span” prejudice about them shared by agents and editors as well as authors, (I’m not convinced about readers). Complexities aren’t really welcome in the YA universes as a rule. Black and white sides, clean exits, right and wrong, clear choices are a hallmark of juvenile literature. It’s comforting and popular to all ages and, as the average American claims less than an eighth grade reading level, it’ll probably remain the norm for all popular narrative for the foreseeable future. It’s a comment on our culture as much as anything and the arguments for and against long form fiction, literariness and complexities will rage on.

And so young adult fiction is here to stay.

Consider this; if nothing else we are a “youth-loving” society and mass market narrative, be it books, film or TV is centered around the young who are said to have disposable income enough to consume such things. Art is one thing, but economics is another and the popularity and demographics of YA will cement it for a long time.

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